Our Yaesu 2 meter repeater has been operating continuously on Bald Hill in Canadice since May 2015. It actually has been two different repeaters, a DR1-X that ran from May 2015 until March 2020, and a DR2-X that has been running since March 2020. The DR1-X was traded for the DR-2X.

The machines are at a site where commercial equipment is on a companion tower maybe 150 feet away. The exact frequencies of this other equipment is unknown, but no issues have occurred.

Both Yaesu repeaters have run on the internal power supply, and internal controller. The DR1-X had an external amplifier, but the DR2-X does not. The internal controller handles all functions required to operate the repeater. It automatically will handle and repeat FM or C4FM signals. The controller has no fancy beeps or spoken ID. No time of day announcements. It has a CW id for FM, and id is automatically included in the digital signal.

The repeater has had exactly two malfunctions, one each with the DR1-X and the DR2-X. In both cases, the transmitter was hung up in transmit mode. This usually is caused by an FM signal and a digital signal being received simultaneously, creating a conflict which the software couldn’t overcome. On the DR1-X, it happened early in it’s time, updated software likely corrected the issue. As it did not recur.

On the DR2-X, probably a similar scenario. But the DR2-X has a built-in additional receiver for control purposes. It was quickly reset remotely and the problem was resolved. Just one occurrence in 3.5 years so far. There has been a firmware update, and no recurrence as of yet.

The repeater has Wires-X capability, which is achieved with a remote RF link. This allows connection via the internet to just about anywhere else in the world. Wires-X is not groundbreaking, it is similar to other internet linking technologies, but it is generally well thought out for purposes of ham radio.

So at the repeater site, there is a small rack cabinet. Inside there is one DR2-X repeater. That is it. No additional controllers, amplifiers, power supplies, preamps, etc. An extremely simple setup. All for under $600.

Of course a good site, duplexer and antenna are still required, but a decent repeater can be put together without too much complexity.

That said, there is nothing wrong with a repeater system that has more capabilities and might be a tad more complex. That is part of the fun of ham radio.

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